The story of Matjaz Rogelj - a hoax
Mladina, by Jaka Zeleznikar, February 27, 2001, 09:56
The story of Matjaz Rogelj, the unofficial computer world champion is a well prepared hoax and its author is the greatest media joker Joey Skaggs. The American Joey Skaggs, media artist, has already fooled all the most prominent media including CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, and BBC. The Slovene media had already been his victim years ago, when they reported about Miso Alkalaj who had supposedly participated in unethical genetic experiments with the computers at the Josef Stefan Institute. Matjaz Rogelj supposedly became the unofficial world computer champion on February 19, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After initial enthusiasm, the media began to doubt the veracity of the story, since quite a few questions were posed that Rogelj could not answer. The most controversial was the fact that the organizer of the championship could not be found the Sat 5 Institute from New York. In his interview for Radio Slovenia Joey Skaggs congratulated the Slovene media because they had uncovered the hoax so quickly: "Congratulations. I am always pleased when I see that journalists perform their work in a responsible manner. I had hoped that the hoax would go on, so I am a little disappointed that, as we say, the cat got out of the bag," he said. Joey Skaggs met Matjaz Rogelj at the Josef Stefan Institute. They had planned the hoax for a long time and hoped it would continue. Too bad they had not better prepared the web presence of Matjaz Rogelj and that of the organizer of the competition, since its absence raised the most obvious doubts. Media hoaxes are a part of media art. Their intent is to reveal the power the media have in presenting the reality, or, to disclose otherwise unnoticeable mechanisms of manipulation that are carried out through the media; revealing a hoax exposes all of that. Sometimes it turns out that the medium is not prepared to publish the news about how they have been fooled the disclosure of such media behaviour is also an important part of media hoaxes, since it raises the issue of credibility and trust. The reaction to the web pages Spletni Strani of the President of the government of Slovenia is also interesting. All presidents' public addresses are displayed there. Interestingly, we can not find the message that STA had forwarded: Ljubljana, February 20 (STA) In his congratulations to the winner of the world computer championship Matjaz Rogelj, the President of the republic Milan Kucan promised that he would make an effort to assure that Slovenia would know to appreciate his success and that he would be able to effectuate his knowledge in his future professional career. As president Ku_an also wrote in his letter of congratulations, with his diligence, gifts and the knowledge he displayed as the representative of Slovenia and Europe at the computer championship in Rio de Janeiro, Rogelj had showed that in Slovenia there exists a high quality of effort in the most demanding areas of the information society, the Presidentıs office stated. Media hoaxes are also a part of the activity of art groups 0100101110101101.org and who were interviewed in Mladina st. 4 (0100101110101101.org) in st.7 (Rtmark).